FABIAN Amukwelele, the Windhoek City Police spokesperson who is accused of raping a 29-year-old woman earlier this year at his Rocky Crest backyard flat, was today granted bail in the amount of N$7,000 at the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate Shaatuna Kalla, after a three-day bail hearing last month, this morning granted bail as she felt that the suspect cannot be kept detained before his trial as a measure of anticipatory punishment.
The presiding officer further put it on record that in bail proceedings, the State is not obliged to prove its case against the accused, and that all it needed to do was to show on a balance of probabilities that the evidence in its possession, usually in the form of witness statements and others, will prove the guilt of the accused.
She further noted that while the trauma that the complainant is experiencing is an actual and real concern that the court cannot ignore, based on evidence that was read, it has not been sufficiently proven by the State, if at all, that releasing Amukwelele would impede the public interest and or the ends of Justice.
With regard to Amukwelele’s potentiality to interfere with investigations, Kalla stated that it was disturbingly brought to the court’s attention that he had irregularly obtained disclosure to the docket although it has not been proven by the State Prosecutor or the initial investigating officer, Sergeant Nambahu.
She, however, stated that what presently concerns the court is whether or not there is a likelihood of continued or future inference by the suspect.
Kalla further stated that Amukwelele is not a member of the Namibian police, which is in charge of investigations, but is rather a member of the City Police of Windhoek.
She added that outstanding witness statements during the preliminary stages of the proceedings have since been obtain and the only aspect outstanding is DNA results which need to be sent for laboratory testing in South Africa.
Some of the bail conditions include prohibiting the suspect from either directly or indirectly until the finalisation of the criminal matter, from interfering with police investigations or the State’s witnesses.
“In light of the above, the court is of the view that bail in the amount of N$7,000, coupled with conditions, will address the competing rights and interest of the complainant and the applicant.”
During the bail hearing, the State had opposed bail, citing that it has a strong prima facie case against the applicant.
In addition, the State argued that granting bail to Amukwelele would be against the public interest and the administration of justice, while also putting it on record that the State feared that the suspect would interfere with police investigations and state witness.
“I associate myself with the above. I am of the view that the State has demonstrated a balance of probabilities that the applicant does have a case to answer to,” said Magistrate Kalla.